How did Finland's economic recession in the early 1990s affect socio-economic equity in the use of hospital care?
The study evaluates the changes in socio-economic equity in the use of general hospital care in Finland from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. In the early 1990s the Finnish economy plunged into a deep recession which slashed over 10% of GDP and resulted in a 12% decrease in national health expenditure. At the same time, the administration and financing of specialised health services were reformed. The impact on general hospital care was controversial: budgets were reduced but better productivity increased the supply of many services. According to the study, data, based on individual linkage of nationwide hospital registers to disposable family income data in population censuses, overall acute general hospital admission rates among Finns aged 25-74 increased by over 10% from 1988 to 1996. For some surgical procedures, such as cataract, coronary revascularisation and some orthopaedic operations, rates more than doubled. In both years, lower-income groups generally used hospital care more than the better-off. However, there was a slight shift towards a pro-rich distribution, mainly due to a larger increase in surgical care among the high-income groups. In 1988 the lowest income quintile used 8% and in 1996 15% fewer operations than the highest. For individual procedures and surgical diagnostic categories, the general trends of increasing disparities were similar. Despite cuts in expenditures in the early 1990s, the Finnish general hospital system based on public funding and provision managed to increase the supply of services. However, this increase coincided with widening socio-economic discrepancies in the use of surgical services. The paper proposes that these increasing inequities were due to certain features of the Finnish health care system which create social discrepancies in access to hospital care. These include the high profile of the private sector in specialised ambulatory care and in the supply of some elective procedures, and semi-private public hospital services requiring supplementary payments from patients.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 7 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:7:p:1517-1530. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.